- In the year 1799, an officer of the French Army was stationed in a small fortress on the Rosetta River, a mouth of the Nile, near Alexander, Egypt. He was interested in the ruins of the ancient Egyptian civilization, and had seen the sphinx and the pyramids, those mysterious structures that were erected by men of another era.
- One day, as a trench was being dug, he found a piece of black slate on which letters had been carved. He had studied Greek in school, and knew this was an inscription written in that language. There were two more lines carved into the stone: one on the Egyptian characters he had seen on the ruins , the other in completely unfamiliar characters.
- The officer realized the importance of such a find, and relinquished it to scholars who had been puzzling over Egyptian inscriptions.
- In 1802, a french professor by the name of Champollion began studying the stone in an attempt to decipher the two unknown sets of characters using the Greek letters as a key. He worked with the stone for over twenty years, and in 1823, announced that he had discovered the meaning of the fourteen signs, and in doing so, had unlocked the secret of ancient Egyptian writing.
- Some 5000 years after an unknown person had made those three inscriptions, the Rosetta Stone became a key, unlocking the written records of Egypt and sharing the history of that civilization with the rest of the world.
16. What is the main idea of the selection?
a. French scholars worked hard in studying ancient history.
b. Ancient Egyptians wrote and preserved their history in stones.
c. The discovery of the Rosetta Stone led to a better understanding of the history of Egypt.
d. A French Army officer studied the Rosetta Stone and the inscriptions carved into it.
17. In which country was the Rosetta Stone found?
18. What word would best describe ancient Egyptians based on the selection?
a. dedicated b. resourceful c. wise d. gifted
19. What might have happened if the Rosetta Stone were not found?
a. Egyptian civilization would have flourished.
b. Ancient Egypt would have not reached the peak of its glory.
c. Ancient Egyptians would have not known of their cultural heritage.
d. Egyptian civilization would have not been fully understood by the modern world.
a. The owner of the Rosetta Stone tried to sell it to scholars.
b. The Egyptians scholars were puzzled by the inscriptions found in the Rosetta Stone.
c. The founder of the Rosetta Stone knew of its value and turned it over to the proper authorities.
d. The officer did not think the Rosetta Stone had much value and therefore gave it away.
21. What literary technique was used by the writer in developing the passage?
a. Detailed analysis c. Narrative chronological order of events
b. Comparison and contrast of ideas
a. Egypt has a rich civilization dating back to the earliest times.
b. Egypt has a mysterious culture which remained unknown.
c. Egypt was an ancient country with no significant history.
d. Egypt’s civilization benefited only those in ancient times.